Implementation and Evaluation of a RFID Smart Cabinet to Improve Traceability and the Efficient Consumption of High Cost Medical Supplies in a Large Hospital

  • María del Carmen León-AraujoEmail author
  • Elisa Gómez-Inhiesto
  • María Teresa Acaiturri-Ayesta
Systems-Level Quality Improvement


The efficiency of a smart cabinet with RFID technology to improve the information about inventory management for cardiothoracic surgery as well as for time savings, was assessed in a large reference hospital. In a 6-month study, the implemented operational RFID process (StocKey® Smart Cabinet) consisted of: i) product reception, registration and labelling in the general warehouse; ii) product storage in the cabinet and registered as inputs by radiofrequency; iii) products registered as outputs as required for surgery; iv) product assignment to a patient in the operating room; and v) return of products not used to the cabinet. Stock-outs, stock mismatches, urgent restocking, assignment of high-value medical products to patients, and time allocated by the supervisory staff to the stock management, were assessed on a monthly basis. 0% stock-outs and 0% stock mismatches using RFID were observed during the study. Monthly percentages of products requiring urgent restocking ranged from 0% to 13.3%. No incorrect assignments to patients of surgery products or prostheses were detected. The percentage of correct assignments increased from 36.1%–86.1% to 100% in the first 4–5 months. The total average time allocated by the supervisory staff to the whole logistic chain was reduced by 58% (995 min with the traditional manual system vs. 428 min with RFID). The RFID system showed the ability to monitor both the traceability and consumption per patient of high-value surgery products as well as contributed to significant time savings.


RFID High value product Surgery Traceability Logistics 



The authors acknowledge the following people at the Hospital Cruces for their contribution to the study: Esther García Garcia and Leyre Marquez Bilbao. Jordi Bozzo PhD, CMPP (Grifols) is acknowledged for medical writing and editorial assistance in the preparation of this manuscript, under the direction of the authors.

Author’s Contributions

MCLA was the principal investigator. EGI and MTAA contributed to the concept and design of the study and data validation. All authors critically revised the manuscript and approved the final version.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

This study was supported and funded by Grifols. The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • María del Carmen León-Araujo
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Elisa Gómez-Inhiesto
    • 1
    • 2
  • María Teresa Acaiturri-Ayesta
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Purchasing and Repository DepartmentCruces University HospitalBarakaldoSpain
  2. 2.Departamento de Compras y AlmacénHospital Universitario CrucesBarakaldoSpain

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